If there's anything that midtown Manhattan doesn't need, it's more development of massively high buildings that block out more sun and sky, create a visual blight, and bring in even more people pouring into already crowded streets. But as we know, Manhattan is prime real estate, with big money being the major player. So it's no surprise that our councilman, Dan Garodnick, who has been accepting bucket loads of donations from real estate, would support the further development of midtown Manhattan.
In his latest newsletter.... And, sorry, for interrupting, but the quality and size of the "newsletter" is a complete contradiction and affront to Garodnick's former concern, a few years ago, about going "green" in the production of his newsletters. The newsletter is of heavy glossy stock, in full color and newspaper long. Your government at work, with your money.... Anyway, getting back to the disturbing content of the newsletter, all rendered in a pseudo-pleasant "I'm concerned" style, it zeroes in on the development of the East Side of midtown Manhattan from, roughly, 39 Street up to 57 Street, between Fifth and Third Avenues, with a small extension into Second Ave.
In his "Dear Neighbor" opening, Garodnick agrees with Mayor Bloomberg that this area needs to be rezoned. (I wonder why, if not for the development of higher buildings.) Garodnick moans over the fact that "there has been limited development in this area" and that "only two new office buildings" have been constructed in the area in the last ten years. Oh, but don't think he's not concerned: "While unlocking development potential in this neighborhood is important, we must ensure that it is done thoughtfully and with an eye toward protecting the area's rich history and the environment."
It appears that, concerns notwithstanding, Garodnick will be voting near the end of this year for the Mayor's rezoning proposal which will be, according to the newsletter, "increasing the permitted density of commercial development on many blocks of East Midtown." And it make me sick to my stomach to see "air rights" mentioned in the proposal as something to be joyfully used rather than revoked. Air rights are why we see ugly tall spires sticking up in neighborhoods with moderate building size.
You can still make your voice heard (as if that's going to change the big money that's already ruling the game) by calling Garodnick's office at 212-818-0580 and telling his people that you are not in favor of the Mayor's proposed rezoning of East Midtown and/or by filling out the form on the back of his glossy newsletter, if you receive in the mail.
Enough already with destroying Manhattan for Big Business and rich foreigners!
Now how's about some affordable middle-class housing in Manhattan?